Cart Ordinances


Somerville, MA
Sec. 12-90. Plan submission, amendment and review.

The superintendent of inspectional services shall determine whether a store's plan for retrieving its shopping carts is reasonably calculated to result in the prompt removal of the store's shopping carts found on public property.
Based on the above-referenced criteria, the superintendent shall approve, reject or recommend modification of the plan, within 60 days of when the plan is submitted.
If a plan is approved, the proposed measures shall be implemented no later than 30 days after approval.
If a plan is rejected, the superintendent shall provide the store with written notice of the basis for said rejection. The store shall modify the plan and resubmit it to the superintendent no later than 30 days after the date of its rejection.
Following the approval of a plan, a store may file a written request with the superintendent to amend its plan. The proposed amended plan is subject to the same criteria and review process as an original plan.
If a store's original or amended plan is approved by the superintendent and subsequently, the superintendent determines in writing that the store's plan for retrieving its shopping carts is ineffective, the superintendent may place on the board of aldermen's agenda a hearing for the purpose of modifying the store's plan. The board of aldermen shall provide the store with at least ten days' written notice of such hearing, along with a copy of the superintendent 's recommendation. After consideration of the matter and after permitting the store to be heard, the board of aldermen may modify or leave the plan unchanged.
(Ord. No. 2004-07, 6-24-2004)
Sec. 12-91. Identification of carts.
All shopping carts shall have a sign affixed to it that clearly identifies the name, address and telephone number of the owner of the cart.
(Ord. No. 2004-07, 6-24-2004)
Sec. 12-92. Removal from store property prohibited.
It shall be unlawful for any person to remove a shopping cart from the premises of a store.
(Ord. No. 2004-07, 6-24-2004)
Sec. 12-93. Responsibility of owner.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any cart to permit any cart to be removed from the store premises and left unattended or abandoned on any street or public place with the city. Any owner who shall directly or indirectly permit or suffer his customers to take such carts off the business premises of said owner shall be responsible if such cart is abandoned or left unattended on a public street or public property.
(Ord. No. 2004-07, 6-24-2004)
Sec. 12-94. Notification.
If a cart is located on public property and identification of the owner of such cart is affixed thereto, prior to the city removing or impounding any cart the owner shall be notified of the location of the cart and required to retrieve the cart as soon as practicable but in no event later than the end of the current business day. For purposes of this section, notification includes, but is not limited to either of the following:
(1) Telephone communication from a city employee or other agent to the owner or an employee, servant or other agent of the owner.
(2) Written notice sent by regular, first class mail to the business address affixed to the cart, if any, otherwise to the address last known by the city to be the address of the owner.
If a cart is abandoned or left unattended in a location such that it may impede emergency services, obstruct vehicular traffic, or create a hazard to public safety on a public right-a-way, the city may remove or impound or cause the removal and impoundment of the cart immediately.
By the end of the second business day following the day of the shopping cart's impoundment, the city shall notify the owner of the shopping cart's impoundment and the location where the cart may be reclaimed. The city shall record that notification was given.
(Ord. No. 2004-07, 6-24-2004)
Sec. 12-95. Retrieval of carts.
All stores providing carts for its customers shall immediately retrieve any cart abandoned on public property. The city shall remove or cause to be removed any cart found abandoned or left unattended on any street or other public property and shall take the same to city property where the cart shall be held for 30 days after notice or until reclaimed.
(Ord. No. 2004-07, 6-24-2004)
Sec. 12-96. Reclamation of carts.
Whenever the city shall take any cart containing the owner's identification, the cart's owner shall be notified by the city and the cart may be reclaimed upon payment of an administrative fee to the city at anytime prior to the sale, dismantling or destruction thereof.
(Ord. No. 2004-07, 6-24-2004; Ord. No. 2005-11, § 28, 7-14-2005)
Sec. 12-97. Disposal of unclaimed carts.
If a cart is not reclaimed within 30 days, the cart may be disposed of as abandoned and unclaimed property in any manner provided by law, and the owner shall reimburse the city for any and all reasonable disposal fees that result.
Failure of an owner to retrieve a shopping cart within the specified 30-day period shall not operate to dismiss any fees owned to the city for removal and storage of such shopping cart. Unpaid fees accrued pursuant to this section shall be considered a debt payable to the city.
(Ord. No. 2004-07, 6-24-2004)

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